It's that time of year where people are concentrated on yard maintenance and making sure their homes are ready for summer picnics.One way to achieve this is the use of masonry or paving products.
Rinox Pavers in Douglassville has been making paving, retaining walls and masonry products since 2005.
The plant makes modular concrete blocks that are used for permeable walkways and patios.
"Permeable driveways and walkways open people's eyes," said Ira Vosper, director of operations. "This is because people are gravitating toward the green industry."
The modular concrete blocks the plant produces are used for interlocking pavements which allow water to go straight through instead of creating pooling and runoff like black-top does, Vosper said.
The plant produces terras-tone, another Rinox product, which is interlocking blocks for yards that allow grass to grow over top and prevent erosion and pooling.
Terrastone, are interlocking blocks that are used for driveways.
Rinox products are also used for pools, patios and retaining walls.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the plant makes different styles of blocks.
"We make a variety of shapes and styles that looks chic and smooth, have the tumbled weathered look or antique look." Vosper said.
The key time for the landscape products is from early spring to late fall providint there are no frost issues.
Vosper said most of the raw materials used to make the products come from Berks County including the cement which is from Lehigh and stone from Birdsboro.
"We strive with all the designs, colors, shapes and textures to closely resemble natural stone," he said.
There are variations and imperfections in the stone that give it the uniqueness we are achieving in the product line."
The plant works hard to make different variations of cement blocks to resemble real stone, Vosper said.
"The different processes of manufacturing and mold shapes enable us to achieve this," he said.
All of the machines are automated and have invisible lasers so if an employee would enter the machine's area, it would automatically be shut off.
The plant has 50-70 workers depending on season.
Vosper serves as the director of operations for the plant which involves making sure all of the departments including logistics, sales, administration and operations are functioning smoothly.
He is also in charge of designing the textures, shapes and colors of new products and ensuring the processes become more automated, he said.
The plant contains a control room where operators monitor the machines and the processes of the block making.
Vosper said there are 1,000 different recipes for products and each machine has its own recipe for the styles of blocks.
The cement is pumped into holding silos and then is sent to the mixers of the machines where it's battered with the required ingredients.
After the blocks are made, employees perform quality assurance work by using a brush to get rid of any dust that may be on the blocks during the process.
Quality control ensures proper heighth and color.
More about Rinox
The Rinox company was started in 1997 in Terrabonne, Quebec, Canada. The Douglassville plant provides products to New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, according to a press release. For more information about Rinox, visit www.rinoxpavers.com.